Monday, 6 July 2015

Mailbag Monday

Week 2 is officially in the books, and with that comes out Mailbag Monday posting.  Remember to post any questions throughout the week in the Comment section and they'll be answered in their here. 

I'm glad you're enjoying our conversations, and (as always) make sure to let me know when you think I'm off base. Here's what we had to talk about this week.

Via ProPerspective


My question is: how do players feel about being released and then called back later? I'm sure it depends on individual circumstances, but does the ego ever come into play making them not want to come back? I imagine the general relationship with the team and how the release was conducted would also play a part?


• You hit it right on the head when you said that individual circumstances come into play.  Being released is just one phase of the business but continuing on with your football career is a separate issue.  I assume you’re talking about Tino Sunseri, so we’ll use him as an example.  Tinoprobably didn’t agree with his release, being beat out of a spot is a tough pill to swallow.  Initially there was probably some feeling (especially after he talked with his agent) that he would get picked up elsewhere but if that call doesn’t come within the first couple of days, then one has to start moving forward in life.  Once the Riders did call there was probably some mixed emotions about the situation.  Sunseriprobably let his agent handle any contract concerns, but it basically boils down to, “Do I want to continue my football career?”

One never knows when he’ll get another shot at being in the CFL, or in any league for that matter, a player has to go with the best opportunity and if that’s in Saskatchewan, so be it.  It’s such a business these days that guys don’t get to caught up in their feelings (or shouldn’t).  Brenden Taman is one of the easiest guys to deal with in the business.  He’s a very honest and upfront GM, so there’s no doubt that the conversation during his release was very respectful and business-like.  It makes it easy to re-enter an environment like that because one didn’t have a bad taste in their mouths on the way out.  Not every GM and decision-based conversation happens like that.  I don’t think Sunseri had a ton of options.  Knowing the offensive system was a huge bonus for both sides, and the decision to call him back was a good one.  Luckily Tino understands this business and made the right choice.  He was probably happy to get a chance to come back to friends, and staff that he was familiar with and get another shot at winning a championship.  


Via ProPerspective


Horrible football, the offense plays pitch and catch while the defense runs around behind the receivers to make a tackle after the catch. Exciting football is a struggle between the O and the D and we are not seeing much of that. A defensive stop at a critical part of the game is exciting football for example yet that seems unlikely. We are seeing huge numbers from average QB's right now as the D has been taken out of the game too much IMO. So the question is can the defenses adjust and catch up or is this what we endure for the year?


• I hate the way defenses are forced to play with these stupid rule changes.  It`s removed defense from the equation all-together.  I totally agree with you that there is no D vs. O struggle anymore.  It’s become a “who’s going to drop the ball first” game.  DBs are playing far too tentative, and with good reason.  I think defenses are going to have to find the right balance between rushing the QB and utilizing numbers in zone schemes.  The only team that seems to have a grip on things right now is the Hamilton TiCats and their DC Orlondo Steinhauer.  If you look at the SK/TO game, a coordinator cannot just rush 3 guys in order to cover every spot on the field because eventually a QB is going to find a guy to hit while a DB plays “not to get a flag”.  

If defensive lines can’t get home with 3 or 4 pass rushers, then QBs are going to have a field day, which they have been.

Get used to this game that resembles a flag football competition, and I’m glad that you recognize the discrepancies in the QB stats.  Eventually people will start to realize how watered down these new coverage rules have made the game, but I doubt opinion will mean much.  As long as QBs are throwing for over 400 yards a game, and we have teams running in the high 30s-40s, league officials will be happy.  More scoring…that’s what they wanted.  At all costs. 



Via Twitter


We (the Saskatchewan Roughriders) have one of the best Dlinegroups in the league and only 4 sacks in 2 games?  How are we not getting penetration?


• Experience in other spots may be a big factor here.  With a lot of young guys playing, it’s tough to call an aggressive style of game that includes blitzing.  If one guy misses his assignment, not only does it leave guys hanging and lead to huge gains, but it also makes the coach think twice about calling certain games at all.  

Without the ability to blitz from different spots, the Riders are left to only use their Dlinemen as rushers, and make things simple for guys at the 2nd level and in the back-end.  Observers saw a ton of 3-man rushes in Sundays loss to TO because it may have been easier to just give coverage assignments over blitz responsibilities.  Unfortunately, that strategy is an Offensive Lineman’s dream, and a DLine’snightmare.  Due to the ratio, the Riders are unable to get their 4 best pass-rushers on the field (97, 70, 93, 0) and while Connop and Tennant will be good, they don’t possess the ability right now to consistently push the pocket.  Without constant pressure up the middle, it makes it easier for OCs to double team John Chick and play the odds against Alex Hall.  If the guess work is taken out of the equation regarding how many guys the Riders are willing to commit to the QB, then focusing on blocking 3 or 4 guys is 100x easier.  The talent to win one-on-one battles is here in Saskatchewan, it’s just that the Riders also need the threat of having alternate options in order to make the Dlineskillset thrive.


Via Twitter


How are these referees missing so many obvious WR offside calls?


• Offside in the CFL has become like travelling in the NBA.  It isn’t called with the frequency it needs to be calledthere’s a reason for it.  It seems as though there is an order of importance as to what should and shouldn’t be flagged.  Offside has definitely taken a backseat to Illegal Contact, Pass Interference, and the potential flags in the trenches.  Sometimes it looks as though the officials are so concerned about the new rules that they forget about the old ones.  Unless it’s strikingly obvious, WRs aren’t going to get whistled for crossing the line of scrimmage early, which makes it EVEN MORE unfair to a DB.  Not only do DBs have to play with their hands tied behind their backs, they also have to contend with guys coming at them with guys running wherever and whenever they want.      


 I'm off to the Saskatchewan Roughrider Alumni Tourney at the Royal Regina Golf club today.  It's a great way to kick it with old teammates and good people. I'll be sure to snap some pics throughout the day. Talk soon folks!






1 comment:

  1. Absolutely correct on the new illegal contact rules. I miss the chess matches between offense and defense. Now it seems as if the league wants points scored on every single possession. Yes, offense is exciting and the points are up, but this isn't football. I don't like watching a game where the defense is afraid to play tight to their man. But I guarantee you the CFL is grinning ear to ear, and that's the sad part.

    Scoring down? Lets just give a huge advantage to the offense!

    Just a dumb rule change.